Optimizing Sample Management: PINKO's Digital Transformation Strategy

Aleksandra Rakowska

As Fashion and Luxury brands look to optimize internal processes, become more sustainable, and cut operational losses, one of the first points of focus in their digital transformation strategy should be sample management. 

As an essential part of the launch-to-market process, samples are being produced for internal use before being distributed externally. For Fashion and Luxury brands, this means investing resources in the production and distribution of multiple samples across the company. 

And with as many as 27 collection revisions for brands like Pinko, executives admit it’s a “frantic experience”.

We recently celebrated our partnership with Temera alongside Pinko’s Digital Transformation Director, Marco Ruffa, who shared how the brand was able to achieve operational excellence thanks to the Launchmetrics x Temera solution.

In this post, we share with you some of the key insights.

Like any transformation project, it started with a challenge: “With so many samples being shipped from around the globe to a single showroom, rails of items would sometimes become lost in the warehouse. The fact is, [we were] spending too much time identifying different items, defining where to ship them in the world, [things were] arriving late – it was quite a mess. This was why we decided to jump on the RFID project with Launchmetrics to track what’s happening.” – says Marco Ruffa.

N​​ow, when we talk about large companies, losing a couple of rails means much more than the cost of sample reproduction. Samples misplacement also means delays in collection launches, which can lead to even further financial losses.

Thanks to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sample tracking, fashion companies have reportedly experienced an up to 85% reduction in sample loss

So, when looking to kickstart the project, Marco had a goal: “The main goal was to keep everything under control. The dream was to be able to identify, in one platform, the location of any of our samples. If I need to identify the location of a jacket or bag, I can go on the platform and see the location - such as our warehouse or HQ - walk in and immediately locate the sample using a scanner and not walk around like a crazy person.”

And he has a point. Samples are extremely complicated to manage without a centralized system to streamline the process. Departments often request samples by email, pick them up at the merchandising office and…. never note down the new location.

Having a dedicated sample management system that allows a real-time view of sample location can certainly help brands gain control of their prototypes – minimizing loss and improving efficiency.

But kicking off a transformation project isn’t always easy for established brands. Marco notes: “I was lucky to find people who believe in the opportunities that transformation can bring. Our processes are strategic - we carry out four cycles of presentations each year, involving 200 people from across the business. We knew that change wouldn’t be easy.“

He also remarked that “When you kick off a project of this size, you need full support and assistance... both Launchmetrics and Temera helped us navigate this transition in the right way.”

Indeed, change is never easy. With multiple departments involved and long-standing structures in place, it can be challenging to undergo a transformation. And with every project comes investment and ROI:

“Understanding whether change will bring ROI is always a challenge – it’s a conversation I have with our President each time…With this type of project, some factors are measurable and some aren’t. For instance, if I can group shipments then I can reduce cost. In the long run, we’ll see return on that… Something that can’t be reported on is the time your team saves when they’re no longer searching for lost samples – but that time saved can change everything.”

Ultimately, it will be up to brands to select the best-suited solution for their teams. However, when it comes to improving operational functionality, using a centralized sample management system is critical to gaining full control over samples inventory and cutting unnecessary costs

Looking to transform your sample management like PINKO? Book a brand audit with one of our solutions specialists:

screen showing a sample report example taken from the fashion sample tracking software

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